Certification Requirements to Become a Math Teacher in West Virginia

Math teachers in West Virginia work hard to ensure the state is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Today’s top achieving students in the field of mathematics will be tomorrow’s industry leaders in science, engineering, and technology. Math teachers play a vital role in ensuring that West Virginia remains competitive for years to come. The West Virginia Department of Education ensures that only qualified and competent applicants are able to gain math teacher certification.

As you navigate the certification process, you will be working directly with the Department of Education’s Office of Professional Preparation, which will ensure you meet the requirements for math teacher jobs in West Virginia. To accomplish this, you will need to make your way through the following steps:

Complete a Math Teaching Degree Program
Pass the Math Teacher Testing Requirements
Apply for West Virginia Math Teacher Certification
Maintain and Upgrade Your West Virginia Teaching Certification

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Math Teaching Degree Program

If you are a prospective college student just starting down the path to become a math teacher in West Virginia, the quickest route to achieve this goal is by completing a bachelor’s degree program in mathematics that is combined with an educator program.

As you progress in your major you will start taking courses that pertain to education and pedagogy. These will be focused on the subject of teaching mathematics, beginning with the foundations of pedagogical theory and culminating with a segment of student teaching where you will teach math in a classroom under the guidance and supervision of an experienced math teacher.

This is the traditional route to becoming a certified math teacher in West Virginia, however there are also options for candidates who already have at least a bachelor’s degree and find themselves in either of the following circumstances:

  • Have not completed an approved mathematics teacher preparation program
  • Currently working as a certified teacher in a different state

If you already have a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of mathematics, you will need to complete an approved teaching preparation program for math at the post-bachelor’s level. These can be traditional programs from colleges or universities that offer post-bach or master’s degree programs that will result in eligibility for teacher certification and include a student teaching segment. They can also be intensive pedagogical programs that include placement as a math teacher in a school with the close mentoring support of an experienced math teacher.

Math teacher prep opportunities throughout West Virginia include:

  • Public and private colleges or universities:

If you are a certified teacher outside of West Virginia, you are eligible for an in-state teaching certificate if you can provide the following:

  • Proof of a current and valid teaching certificate
  • Proof of completion of an approved math educator preparation program in your home state
  • Proof of completion of student teaching or on-the-job mentoring

If this is the case, when completing an application for certification, make sure to use an out-of-state application.

 


 

Step 2. Pass the Math Teacher Testing Requirements

Prospective math teachers in West Virginia must also complete a series of tests administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS):

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators (Core)
  • Principles of Learning and Teaching
  • Praxis II Mathematics

Core Academic Skills for Educators

The Core tests are a series of assessments designed to make sure you have a basic level of knowledge in three key areas:

You are exempt from taking this Core test series if you can meet any of the following conditions:

  • Obtained a score of at least 26 on the ACT
  • Obtained a score of at least 1125 on the SAT between April 1996 and February 2005
  • Obtained a score of at least 1170 on the SAT since March 2005
  • Passed a different state’s basic-skills teaching certification assessment test
  • Have National Board Certification
  • Have a master’s degree
  • Are already an out-of-state certified teacher in one of these subject areas

Principles of Learning and Teaching

This exam assesses your specific knowledge in the areas of education and pedagogy. It is offered in two different versions, and you should choose which one you take depending on what grade levels you intend to teach:

You will have two hours to complete either test, and both tests are comprised of 70 multiple-choice questions as well as four constructed response questions, divided into five main subject areas:

  • Analysis of instructional scenarios
  • Students as learners
  • Process of instruction
  • Testing, evaluations, and assessments
  • Leadership, professional development, and community activities

Praxis II Mathematics

This test is also offered in two versions depending on the grades you intend to teach, and evaluates you specifically on the subject of mathematics:

    • Two hours to respond to 55 questions on the subjects of
      • Algebra and arithmetic
      • Data and geometry

    • 150 minutes to respond to 60 questions on the subjects of:
      • Numbers and quantity
      • Algebra
      • Calculus
      • Functions
      • Probability and statistics
      • Geometry
      • Discrete mathematics

 


 

Step 3. Apply for West Virginia Math Teacher Certification

If you have completed the steps up to this point you will have met all the math teacher certification requirements in West Virginia. As part of an initial application you will need to complete the following:

The first certification you will apply for is known as Initial Teacher Certification, and is valid for a maximum of three years. Once you have your Initial Certification in hand you can start searching for math teacher jobs in West Virginia. The Department of Education maintains a website with math teacher employment opportunities listed throughout the state.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your West Virginia Teaching Certification

Once you have obtained an Initial Teaching Certificate in mathematics it will be valid for up to three years. During this period of time you will need to work on completing at least two requirements to have the Initial Certificate converted to a Professional Certificate:

  • Complete the Beginning Educator Internship – a program designed to provide support and informative feedback as you transition to your new career as a math teacher
  • Complete at least one of the following:
    • Six credits of college coursework that have been prescribed to you based on an evaluation of your work performance
    • Six credits of graduate-level studies in the field of education or pedagogy
    • Six credits of college coursework that will improve your effectiveness as a teacher
    • Master’s degree and be working at least 30 hours per week
    • Master’s degree and five years of teaching experience
    • National Board Certification

Once you have attained a Professional Certificate you will need to renew it every five years. Doing so twice will enable you to convert this to a Permanent Certificate.

The Beginning Educator Internship

As alluded to, this is a group of professionals who will offer you a network of support and teaching direction. Your internship group will be composed of your school principal, someone from the county staff development council, and an experienced mathematics teacher. You will mostly meet with your assigned mathematics teacher who will serve as a mentor to help you with any initial teaching difficulties. At the end of each school year your internship group will recommend one of three things:

  • You are ready to upgrade your Initial Certificate to a Professional Certificate
  • You need to undergo the Educator Internship for an additional year
  • You are not fit to be a teacher in West Virginia

National Board Certification

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) maintains a nationwide certification program, with two specific certification areas open to West Virginia math teachers:

If you choose to pursue National Board Certification you can decide which area to attempt based on the grades you teach in West Virginia. Becoming certified means you will submit a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates your teaching excellence throughout the course of a year, as well as complete a series of assessment tests.

The state Department of Education recognizes that gaining NBPTS Certification is a sign of teacher excellence, and therefore offers the following additional two advantages for math teachers who hold this:

  • A $3,500 yearly bonus for each year you are NBPTS-certified
  • Reimbursement for any NBPTS fees associated with becoming certified for the first 200 applicants every year

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